Almost every novel on the Time list is dark in some way. Some more than others, of course, but they all have that element of darkness.
None of them, though, reach the level of The Painted Bird. This novel, y’all, it’s brutal.
Imagine a 6-year-old Jewish kid, abandoned by his parents, witnessing a gauntlet of tortuous events—a young teenager’s eyeballs gouged out, a man falling into a pit of ravenous rats, a woman brutally raped to the point she dies—and that’s just the beginning. Read more
Did you ever hear the one about Jerzy Kosinski passing off The Painted Bird as a memoir?
Yeah, that kind of happened.
Here’s how our always trustworthy friends at Wikipedia put it: Read more
Let’s talk about The Painted Bird.
If you read my preview, you’ll remember that our protagonist in this novel is an orphaned six-year-old boy during World War 2.
In the first 60 pages, said child witnesses the following incidents (note: these aren’t essential to the plot so no spoilers here…just illustrating the graphic nature of this book): Read more
Just when I thought this list of books couldn’t get any more depressing, in steps The Painted Bird. This novel by Jerzy Kasinski is the story of an orphaned, homeless Jewish boy during War World 2. We see the world through the eyes of a horribly mistreated six year old. This one sounds like a great, peppy read for summer.
A few facts about The Painted Bird and its author Jerzy Kasinski: Read more
I don’t know what I expected coming into The Heart of the Matter. I’ve already read The Power and the Glory, which I currently have ranked 27 out of the 85 novels I’ve read so far, and I knew Graham Greene was an exceptional writer. But I didn’t quite expect to like this novel as much as I did.
The Heart of the Matter is, simply put, a beautiful, elegant novel. No surprise here, since it’s on the Time Magazine list, this is a fairly dark book. Not in a dreary Blood Meridian, Money type of way. But more in somber, sadness. Like, if a novel could outline a person’s road to severe depression, this novel would be it. Or if a dreary rainy day could exist in novel form, it would be The Heart of the Matter. Read more
Imagine with me, if you will:
Crashing waves. Sandy beach. Shaded umbrella. Light breeze. Margarita. Entrancing novel. Maybe a dozing husband or wife by your side.
Is that your happy place? It’s one of mine.
But let’s add another element to that peaceful, serene setting. Read more
Graham Greene, y’all. The man is such a brilliant writer.
I want to share one more passage with you before I wrap this book up soon and move on to the next one. This passage comes just after a scene where one of the main characters, Scobie, has committed his first act of infidelity. Read more